It all began when I read The Gargoyle Prophecy by Christopher C. Payne. Chris is the president of JournalStone Publishing, and when he read my review, he asked if I'd be interested in proofreading and reviewing another JournalStone novel, Any Witch Way by Annastaysia Savage. From there my involvement with JournalStone grew and grew - I became a regular proofreader/reviewer and was even asked over the summer to co-host the Blog Talk Radio show, JournalJabber.
It quickly became evident that I am far too observant and soft-spoken to be a true radio personality, but I do love the radio show and make most of my contributions by running the chat room and making sure all our information is available during the show and afterward on our new website. Ownership of the radio show is now transferred to Amy and we are no longer affiliated with JournalStone. There will be a few small changes, but expect 2012 to be full of tons of crazy JournalJabber fun!
After I had amassed quite a few book reviews (and many that did not fit the genres JournalStone was interested in) and joined a fantastic group on Goodreads (Creative Reviews), I decided to start up my own review blog (which you are now reading!) as a way to keep my work organized and available for others. Soon, the review requests were rolling in, and today, I have almost TWO-HUNDRED books in queue for review!! I will never be able to empty my to-review list (because I am constantly adding to it), but it is still exciting to me when I open a new book for the first time -- what adventure awaits me next?
It's taking me even longer to get those reviews churned out now because, in addition to proofreading for JournalStone, I decided to offer my proofreading/editing services independently. I have had a fairly steady flow of work coming in. I've worked with several authors, including Barbara G. Tarn and T.R. Graves, and I proofread for Amy at The Eyes for Editing. This is the BEST work for me! I get to stay home with my family, which is perfect (although, they might say they are a little neglected these days, and my poor house is a disaster area most of the time), and I get to do what I love...read and write!
Speaking of writing, I have enjoyed writing for most of my life. I remember as a young girl typing up stories on an old word processor/DOS computer my aunt gave me. My first character was Miranda, and she was a huge horse lover. My school years found me mostly writing literary research papers and then experimental psychology research reports, full of boring definitions and statistics. But this year, I began flexing my writing muscles again and managed to turn out a couple pretty great stories, if I say so myself. I submitted one to JournalStone's short story contest, and although it didn't win anything (it didn't match up with what they were looking for in the anthology), I got some FANTASTIC feedback from Chris. Then, I had the honor of publishing a separate story in the Creative Reviews Christmas anthology, Christmas Lites, alongside some amazing authors and friends. If you haven't already bought your copy of Christmas Lites, please do so now! All proceeds are being donated to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
I am slowly working on expanding on my JS short story and will either begin releasing everything in a series of novelettes or complete a full-length novel. This is also taking me some time because, with three small children and an up-an-coming editing business, I barely have time to breathe, much less write anything of value! But, that's okay! I have plenty of time, and I want to do everything right so I give the public the best quality story as possible... :-)
I think that's enough rambling! I wanted to end the year with a little list of some of my favorites of 2011. Don't be discouraged if your work didn't make it to my list. I couldn't very well include EVERY single thing or it wouldn't be much of a favorites list...haha... Basically every story/book I read this year was fantastic, and all the authors I had the honor of working with were simply amazing. I cannot tell you how blessed I have been this year through the new experiences I have enjoyed and all the new friends I have made.
Without further ado, here are some of my faves of the year: